Painting Exterior Lights the Lazy Way Thursday, Jul 16 2009 

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Delightful Dwelling

I had to participate in A Soft Place to Land’s DIY day. Check out my DIY project and then head on over to ASPTL and join in on the fun.

 DIY Day @ ASPTL

 

When I posted about our outside house makeover here and here, I left out much info. on how I revamped our outside lights on each side of the garage. They were probably gold originally and then had been painted white somewhere along the way. So here’s what I started with.(And yes it’s a bad photo, sorry!)

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I decided when we painted the shutters and garage trim black that the lights needed a makeover too. So it was time to break out the spray paint again. However, hubby did not want to take the lights down and have to worry about getting them back on right and making sure they didn’t leak. Therefore, I decided to spray paint them the lazy way and leave the lights still mounted to the house while I painted them.  Here’s how I did it.

1. Remove top of light and glass inserts. This was pretty easy, just a few screws holding the top in place and hubby carefully lifted out the glass panels.

2. Remove lightbulb and tape of inside of light where the light goes. Spray paint and electricity don’t mix so well so keep paint out of there.

3. Use newspaper, plastic bags, whatever you have on hand to cover the side of the house around the light. Spray paint on light good, spray paint all over the house, bad. I used a thin plastic drop cloth on the first light, but I found newspaper worked much better. Use painters tape, masking tape, packing tape, again whatever you have on hand to tape the paper/plastic to the house around the light. Carefully tear paper and use tape to mark off around the base of the light. This can be tricky because of all the curves.

(Imagine picture of light surrounded by newspaper and tape here. I should have taken more photos of the process, sorry, I’m trying to be better about that!)

4. Stand carefully on ladder if lights are up high and get going with the spraying. I used black satin Rustoleum paint. Put top cover of light(that was removed) on cardboard or dropcloth and paint that also using light even coats.

5. After a couple coats of paint let everything dry and remove plastic and newspaper from house so neighbors will stop staring at you. Reinsert lightbulb and top of light. Stand back and admire your work.

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I know this won’t work for all types of lights and if you to remove the light that’s fine too. But if you have these blah builder grade lights, you can change the color and do it the lazy way like me.

Weekend Projects Part 3 Thursday, Jul 9 2009 

Ok this one isn’t really a project, just a small change. I had bought a table runner at Old Time Pottery and while I liked the fabric and design, the color was a little dark.

Then I was at Target on Friday and I found another runner that pulled in the lighter tans and creams as well as the darker browns so I bought it. I think it was $14.99. Luckily I still have thr receipt for the first runner, so it’s being returned to Old Time Pottery. I also visited World Market and snagged the two white and green candle holders on clearance for $2. I still need to add some candles, but you get the idea. I still have some fussing to do with the centerpiece, I may be putting a lantern in its place, or a different vase. Well just have to see. But here it is how it looks  right now:

I’m not sure what happened the night after I added this new runner, but I guess the cats were chasing each other or fighting on the table, because this is how it looked Monday morning:

As long as nothing breaks, we’re still good. I guess it’s good practice for any future kiddos that might come along. So that’s what I did over the weekend. I already have plans for this coming weekend that involve doorknobs and spray paint, so we’ll see what happens next.

Weekend Projects Part 2 Thursday, Jul 9 2009 

I’m back with the next change I made over the weekend. The first part of this mini project was free, it just required some superhuman effort and some hubby help. All we did was some minor furniture rearrangement. Previously, the TV cabinet was in the corner. I never liked it there because it blocked the window and I like as much natural light into a room as possible. Unfortunately, the thing weighs a ton. And it has a heavy TV in it. And a DVD player and stereo equipment. And stacks of movies and CDs in the bottom. Well, taking all that out and unhooking all the wires is a great big pain. So we huffed and puffed and shoved that big boy over along the wall.  The couches were much easier, just a little tweaking there.

Here’s how everything was before:

And the new arrangement that’s more straight on:

But there’s something else different there. What else has changed between the before and after picture? One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn’t belong…..Anyone else remember that from Sesame Street? There are actually five  things different that I see, can anyone find all the differences between the first and second photo?

I’ll give you a hint on the first and biggest which is my  new area rug! I found it at Old Time Pottery for $32. I wasn’t planning on buying a rug for there yet, but I happened to find this one on sale and it was the only green one left.

It’s amazing how simply a new furniture arrangemet can change a room and it’s a great free way to have a mini room makeover. So give it a try. Pull your furniture out from the walls, switch your couches and chairs around, and give a new look a try. So that’s part 2 of my weekend updates. Go here for part 3 with some changes to my dining room table.

Weekend Projects Part 1 Wednesday, Jul 8 2009 

Right after I posted this on Wednesday, I read about the DIY party on A Soft Place to Land. So I’m ready to join in with this post and a couple others of various weekend projects I had going on.

I had several projects over the long weekend to spruce up and decorate the house. The biggest project was painting our headboard. Our headboard is a hand me down we’ve had since we got married. Here’s the blah wood before shot:

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Then after applying a coat of good old Kilz oil based primer and two coats of Behr touch of cream laytex paint I moved the new headboard back inside to show off it’s transformation. I also added our new Shabby Chic bedding from Target, a bit of a splurge (anything over $20 is usually a splurge to me though), but our old bedspread was falling apart and had so many rips in it from kitty claws.  So with all that here’s the cottage look after:

Even the dresser got a little facelift. I added some new handles from Target ($9.99 for a pack of six.) I’m still contemplating painting it as well. Maybe a soft tan color to pick up the color from the comforter.  What do you think?

So that’s part one of the projects I had going on around the house. Go here for part two of my weekend project about furniture arranging and check out my side bar for links to more projects. Thanks for visiting and be sure to check out the DIY party from ASPTL.

 DIY Day @ ASPTL

Pillows, and Curtains, and Cats, Oh My! Monday, Jun 22 2009 

I’ve been searching for curtains for awhile and not having much luck finding the color I want and the price I can afford. I visited Old Time Pottery on Thursday and came across some tan colored curtains for $12.99 so I grabbed those along with some silk hydrangeas (only 88 cents!) and a nice table runner for $5.99. So Saturday’s goal became hanging curtains. The goal became a little put off after I went to Wal-Mart in the morning and found some flowers on clearance. So I ended up buying some and by the time I got home it was getting very hot outside.After planting the flowers in ninety degree weather with what felt like 200% humidity and losing about 2 pounds of sweat, it was time to hang curtains.

Here’s a reminder of what my living room looked like before with the burgundy curtains which were full of dust because I hung them up there 4 years ago and haven’t touched them since. Eww!

I pulled open the first package of curtains. I turned around to take down the curtain rod and when I turned back around, I found that my new curtains had received Emma’s seal of approval.

The real fun began when the old curtains came down. They were instantly transformed into a cat playground. There were cats sliding, pouncing, and burrowing underneath the sheer curtains. I think they were a little sad when I took them away.

I know I broke all the designer rules, but I didn’t know about the designer rules on hanging curtains when we first put up these curtain rods 4 years ago. Now I know that you should hang them high and wide so the windows and room look bigger. We already have massively tall ceilings, so I’m not too worried about the height. I would like to move them up at some point, but then I will have to add a strip of fabric or something to the bottom or the curtains will be too short. Right now they are the perfect length. I also would like to spray paint the curtain rods black, but that will wait until another day.

So here they are in their rebel state so all the designers can go tsk,tsk. (Just kidding.)

And my wonderful mother-in-law was nice enough to sew some pillow covers for my old couch pillows using a fun paisley print fabric from Joann’s. It was on sale and I had an extra 10% off coupon so the fabric ending up costing around $14 w/ tax for one yard.

The other pillow, the cream one with the brown leaves/ivy pattern I found at Garden Ridge. I love the lighter colors, I think they help brighten up the room.

The final part of my weekend mini-home makeover was adding this table runner. I’m still a little unsure on the color. I love the design and the length, but I wanted something lighter in a cream or green color. So the runner might be going back. The flowers I switched out with the red flowers I had in thier previously.

Here’s the before of my dining room:

 

And the after:

So now I just need hubby to help me rearrange the furniture in the living room. I’ve never been crazy about the placement of the entertainment center where it is. It blocks too much of the window. I also am still on the hunt for a cheap rug for either the living room or dining room. It’s time for the one in the dining room to go. So stay tuned for more updates.

Mission Accomplished Tuesday, Jun 16 2009 

Over the weekend we finished up “Project Curb Appeal.”  After another long weekend of scraping, painting,  caulking, and more painting along with trips back and forth to Home Depot (thank goodness it’s close by) we are done with our goal to spruce up the outside of our house. There were some issues along the way like having to repaint the trim because I painted it black and hated it and had to repaint it white.  But now it is all done and I can drive up to our house and think how pretty it looks.

Thanks to everyone for their ideas and opinions on what colors to use. We are very pleased with the result. Or at least I am, I don’t know if hubby cares too much one way or the other as long as I’m happy.  =)

Here’s a reminder of the before with the faded shutters, dated neon green house numbers, overgrown bushes(there are windows back there!) and peeling door and garage paint.

And the spruced up after (pictures are a little off in color, I took them at 8:00 last night after I finished painting and I was losing daylight.):

The bushes got a nice trim although hubby is banned from trimming the burning bushes anymore. I trimmed the one of the left and he did the one on the right(poor bush.) They grow very fast though so hopefully next year it will look alright.

The trim around the garage was replaced and painted black. We took off the tops of the lights on each side of the garage door and removed the glass panels and lightbulb. I spray painted the tops of the lights and painted the rest of the lights without removing them from the house! It was tricky, but I taped plastic around the lights to cover the garage while I was spraying them with black Rustoleum. I only got a little bit of black paint on the brick.

I posted earlier about how I spray painted the shutters. Here’s the post on that.

One of the biggest changes and easiest was putting up different house numbers. I bought the plaque at Home Depot for $25 and the numbers were $5.99 each I believe. The plaque looks so much more elegant the the cheapo green reflective plastic numbers we had before. I wish I had replaced them 4 years ago!

And finally the front door. I used Behr semi-gloss Sly Fox to paint the door and the sidelights. I first painted the trim around the door and windows black, but it looked awful. So I painted them one more time for the last time! (I had already primed them with one coat primer, then added two coats black, and now three coats of white paint.)

We bought a new storm door because ours was about to fall apart and didn’t close right. This one has a screen that rolls up inside of the top of the door. So you can have it all glass like it is now or roll the screen down and have a door with the screen any size you want. We are hoping this well help keep the door from getting too hot since that may have cause our previous front door to warp in just two years. We’re not really sure since steel doors aren’t supposed to warp at all. A nice black antique iron style doormat(it’s really rubber) adds the final touch. It was $9.99 from Garden Rige.

We added several more flowers to try and brighten up the front. Hubby was nice enough to plant those for me along with 6 other bushes along the sides and back of the house. I don’t remember what the yellow flowers are, but the purplish bush is called “wine and roses.” It has bright pink flowers. Everything looks a little scraggly right now, but they will fill in eventually.

So that’s our first before and after and we will have many more to share as we continue on down the road of home improvement. A road that never ends.

Be sure to check out more outdoor and garden projects by visiting or joining the Garden Party on A Soft Place to Land.